Food Network’s Restaurant: Impossible returns this January for the season 16 premiere. The episode features Chef Robert Irvine’s visit to Rossini’s Cucina Italiana, an Italian restaurant in Ridgeland, Mississippi. The episode, “Cleaning Up in Mississippi” will air at 9 p.m. ET on Food Network.
According to the episode description, the restaurant is ‘absolutely filthy’ and has owners that seem to have given up on the business. Chef Robert Irvine will step in and get his hands dirty in order to clean up the restaurant and the owner’s attitudes.
Owners Lori and Tony Spreafico purchased the restaurant from Lori’s father in 1999. It was previously known as City Hall Café. The Restaurant: Impossible episode was filmed August 6 and 7, 2019 in Mississippi, with the grand re-opening of the restaurant taking place on Wednesday, August 7, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Rossini’s Cucina Italiana has Been in Business since 1999
Rossini’s Cucina Italiana is a family-owned restaurant that has been in business since 1999. The Yelp page for the restaurant says they offer authentic Italian food at reasonable prices. The restaurant is owned by Tony and Lori Spreafico. Tony’s family is originally from Lake Como, Italy, which is why they chose to rebrand the restaurant to feature a more Italian name since they were already serving Italian food.
Yelp also mentions that they offer a special meal called the “FEED ME TONY,” where chef Tony customizes a meal and prepares it specifically for the guest. The guest can then request to add a wine pairing.
“Whether you’re craving pasta, seafood, chicken, veal, or beef filets, we’ve got you covered,” the Yelp description reads. “Complimentary brushetta and your choice of house or caesar salad accompany your entree.”
The description goes on to mention outside dining and recommends making a reservation for weekend dining.
Reviews Post Restaurant: Impossible are Mixed
On Yelp, six reviews have been posted since the grand re-opening. Four of those reviews are one-star reviews and the other two are five-star reviews.
“Hands down the absolute worst ‘Italian’ food I have ever eaten,” one negative reviewer writes. “I feel deeply insulted by what I was fed. The tomato sauce had no seasoning. There was practically no veal in the veal Parmesan that cost $27.”
The review goes on:
The flavor? None. It was the blandest meal I have eaten in my life. It was so bad, that Italy should invade Mississippi to reap revenge for this ‘Italian’ meal. It was an attempt to make Chicago style Italian. So maybe the Yankees should invade Mississippi to gain vengeance on this terrible meal.
A positive review, on the other hand, talks about how good the food is.
The food here is wonderful! The service is fantastic! PLEASE don’t pay attention to any of the 1 star reviews all left on the same day by the same group of people. They aren’t from Jackson and I venture have never eaten at Rossini.
The restaurant has 57 reviews on Trip Advisor for an average of about three and a half out of five. Four of those reviews were left after the grand re-opening, with one stating that Restaurant: Impossible ruined the restaurant.
“This was my favorite restaurant for years,” the reviewer writes. “Then the TV show Restaurant: Impossible came in and ruined it. The menu is awful. They took lots of items off. I finally decided on the spaghetti and meatballs and it was dry. It’s sad to see such a good restaurant tank.”
Another reviewer on Yelp seemed to feel the same, saying they’d visited Rossini for many years before the changes were made, so they decided to stop in after to see what the changes were. In a three-star review, the user Alfredeaux writes:
My wife and I recently ate at the ‘new’ Rossini and immediately noted the change in decor with a more open look. The menu was downsized to a single page. Missing were several items they previously served that were some of our favorites. Calamari is no longer on the menu as an appetizer, and there was not fish available during our visit on a Friday night. The entrees used to include a small salad and bread, which is now ala cart. The entrees are more expensive now as the portions are smaller.
In October, the restaurant brought back some additional menu options like seafood pasta, chicken parmesan, and veal parmesan, according to this Facebook post. They also added crab cakes and mushroom tortellini back to the menu in November.
Restaurant: Impossible originally aired on Food Network from 2011 to 2016. After taking a three-year hiatus, the show returned on April 20, 2019 with all-new episodes. The show airs Thursday, January 2 at 9 p.m. ET.